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6. Front Ramp and Hatch, Fold-a-bar #2

Front ramp- folding bar

The front ramp was to get the same treatment as the back ramp: for the top portion to fold down into a serving bar.
The method for this was much the same as the back ramp. The ramp was marked where the cuts would be made and cuts were made with an angle grinder.
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A length of appropriate steel angle was found and cut to fit on top of the shortened ramp. This was then clamped in place, and welded together. Similar steel angle was then welded to the top section of the ramp that had been cut off, making a box frame.
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Front ramp cut with new angle welded on
Hinges were then welded to the flats of these two angles. The top portion of the ramp now folded down.
Ramp split then hinged together
Hinges welded, smoothed and filled
A support bar was fabricated for this bar, again to keep it either shut or held open at 90degrees.
Support bars for front and back folding bars, front vent cover and draft excluder plate
The front ramp was welded shut, as we don’t envision needing it, and want counter space inside to traverse the ramp.

Front hatch

This was quite a complex section, because we had to adapt the existing hatch to become top-opening, and it was situated where the roof begins to curve away.

We started by adding a flange to the right side of the door to match the left. We used some surplus salvaged metal from the trailer, and cut it down to size.

This flange needed to graduate from 1 side to another, so needed bending.

The angle of the desired curve was found, then a vice and a good old hammer were used to bend the flange to the desired angle.
The flange was welded on, and a large hole was drilled out into it for the antiluce latch to fit through.
Steel box section was used to eliminate the gap between the door and the overhang of the door frame. It was cut and welded to the top of the front hatch for the hinge to bolt to.

We then drilled and tapped holes for the bolts, tapping (cutting a thread into a hole) meant the bolts wouldn’t need nuts on the underside where the door needed to close shut.
Tapping 5mm holes with M6 tap
Front hatch with added righthand and top flanges

Nerve-wrackingly, we had to cut off 1 of the flanges from our brand new snail hinge. But otherwise it would not have fit this awkward hole. We decided the hinge would still be strong enough afterwards.

Removing obstructive flange from snail hinge
Front hatch installed and functional

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